by ELSA VON WALLMENICH

ODE TO A RIVER TOWN

(FROM THE 1913 EAST HADDAM BRIDGE GRAND OPENING PROGRAM)

 

'T'was settlers roaming here and there
Among New England hills,
Espied some land beyond compare
Where wondrous Nature thrills.

It's just the place for us to live:
'Tis here we'll till the ground.
These blankets, trinkets, rum we'll give.
Chief takes? The bargain's bound.

The white man gave the Indian tall
The load from his canoe.
A hundred dollars covered all
In sixteen sixty-two.

Once homes were built, the village thrived
And grew into a town.
The name of Haddam it derived
Your Haddam of renown.

A river cut that town in two,
With farms on either slope.
Thus transportation, it is true,
Is cheap, but who could hope

To have a city some fine day
Engulf this township? For
A ferry was the only way
To reach the other shore.

"A house divided can not stand,"
You'll surely all agree.
The same held good about this land.
It's changed now-don't you see?

To-day a bridge unites the banks.
Loud be the cheer that's raised!
Then unto God offer your thanks,
And Haddams long be praised!